Academy Award for Best Actor

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Academy Award for Best Actor
Cillian Murphy-2014.jpg
The 2023 recipient: Cillian Murphy
Awarded forBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
First awarded 1929
Most recent winner Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer (2024)
Most awards Daniel Day-Lewis (3)
Most nominations Laurence Olivier and Spencer Tracy (9)
Website oscars.org

The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It has been awarded since the 1st Academy Awards to an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a film released that year. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actress winner.

Contents

The Best Actor award has been presented 96 times, to 86 actors. The first winner was German actor Emil Jannings for his roles in The Last Command (1928) and The Way of All Flesh (1927). [1] The most recent winner is Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer (2023), who simultaneously became the first Irish born actor to win this award. Italian actor Roberto Benigni gave the first winning non-English performance in Life Is Beautiful (1997) in this category. The record for most wins is three, held by Daniel Day-Lewis, while nine other actors have won twice. The record for most nominations is nine, jointly held by Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier. James Dean remains the only actor to have been posthumously nominated for this award more than once. At the 5th Academy Awards, Fredric March finished one vote ahead of Wallace Beery; under the rules of the time, this meant both actors were awarded, in this category's only tie.

Nominations process

Nominees are currently determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy. [2]

In the first three years of the awards, actors and actresses were nominated as the best individuals in their categories. At that time, all of their work during the qualifying period (as many as three films, in some cases) was listed after the award. [3] Despite this, at the 3rd Academy Awards, held in 1930, only one film was cited in each winner's award regardless of how many they were eligible to be considered for during that span. [4] The current system, in which an actor is nominated for a specific performance in a single film, was introduced for the 4th Academy Awards. [3] Starting with the 9th Academy Awards, held in 1937, the category was limited to a maximum five nominations per year. [3]

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Emil Jannings was the inaugural winner, for two films: The Last Command (1928) & The Way of All Flesh (1927).
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Warner Baxter won for In Old Arizona (1928).
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George Arliss won for Disraeli (1929).
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Lionel Barrymore won for A Free Soul (1931).
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Wallace Beery won for The Champ (1931), in a tie with Fredric March.
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Victor McLaglen won for The Informer (1935).
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Spencer Tracy was the first actor to consecutively win twice, for Captains Courageous (1937) & Boys Town (1938).
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Gary Cooper won twice, for Sergeant York (1941) & High Noon (1952).
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Bing Crosby won for Going My Way (1944).
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Ray Milland won for The Lost Weekend (1945).
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Ronald Colman won for A Double Life (1947).
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Laurence Olivier won for Hamlet (1948); first self-directed win (and simultaneous Best Picture).
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José Ferrer won for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950); Tony winner for the same role–first to accomplish this + the category's first latino winner.
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William Holden won for Stalag 17 (1953).
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Marlon Brando won twice, for On the Waterfront (1954) & The Godfather (1972).
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Ernest Borgnine won for Marty (1955).
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David Niven won for Separate Tables (1958).
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Charlton Heston won for Ben-Hur (1959).
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Burt Lancaster won for Elmer Gantry (1960).
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Rex Harrison won for My Fair Lady (1964).
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Cliff Robertson won for CHAЯLY (1968).
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John Wayne won for True Grit (1969).
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George C. Scott won for Patton (1970).
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Jack Lemmon won for Save the Tiger (1973).
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Art Carney won for Harry & Tonto (1974).
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Peter Finch won for Network (1976); first actor to win posthumously.
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Jon Voight won for Coming Home (1978).
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Dustin Hoffman won twice, for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) & Rain Man (1988).
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Robert De Niro won for Raging Bull (1980).
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Henry Fonda won for On Golden Pond (1981)
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Ben Kingsley won for Gandhi (1982).
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Robert Duvall won for Tender Mercies (1983).
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F. Murray Abraham won for Amadeus (1984).
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Michael Douglas won for Wall Street (1987).
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Daniel Day-Lewis won thrice, for My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), & Lincoln (2012).
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Anthony Hopkins won twice, for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) & The Father (2020)—the latter rendering him the overall oldest acting winner, at age 83.
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Al Pacino won for Scent of a Woman (1992).
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Tom Hanks won twice consecutively, for Philadelphia (1993) & Forrest Gump (1994).
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Geoffrey Rush won for Shine (1996).
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Roberto Benigni won for Life Is Beautiful (1997); first Italian-spoken role to win for the category.
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Kevin Spacey won for American Beauty (1999).
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Russell Crowe won for Gladiator (2000).
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Adrien Brody won for The Pianist (2002); became this category's youngest winner, at age 29.
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Sean Penn won twice, for Mystic River (2003) & Milk (2008).
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Jamie Foxx won for Ray (2004).
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Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart (2009).
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Jean Dujardin won for The Artist (2011).
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Gary Oldman won for Darkest Hour (2017).
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Rami Malek won for Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
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Joaquin Phoenix won for Joker (2019).
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Will Smith won for King Richard (2021).
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Brendan Fraser won for The Whale (2022).

Winners and nominees

In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, and generally correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County; the ceremonies are always held the following year. [5] For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned twelve months, from August 1 to July 31. [6] For the 6th ceremony held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932, to December 31, 1933. [6] Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31. [6]

Table key
Indicates the winner
§Indicates winner who refused the award
Indicates a posthumous winner
Indicates a posthumous nominee

1920s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1927/28
(1st)
Emil Jannings [A] Grand Duke Sergius Alexander The Last Command [7]
August Schilling The Way of All Flesh
Richard Barthelmess Nickie Elkins The Noose
Patent Leather Kid The Patent Leather Kid
Charlie Chaplin [B] The Tramp The Circus [8]
1928/29
(2nd)
[note 1]
Warner Baxter The Cisco Kid In Old Arizona [9]
George Bancroft Thunderbolt Jim Lang Thunderbolt
Chester Morris Chick Williams Alibi
Paul Muni James Dyke The Valiant
Lewis Stone Count Pahlen The Patriot

1930s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1929/30
(3rd)
George Arliss [C] Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli [10]
George ArlissThe Raja The Green Goddess
Wallace Beery Butch "Machine Gun" Schmidt The Big House
Maurice Chevalier [C] Pierre Mirande The Big Pond
Count Alfred Renard The Love Parade
Ronald Colman [C] Capt. Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond Bulldog Drummond
Michel Condemned
Lawrence Tibbett Yegor The Rogue Song
1930/31
(4th)
Lionel Barrymore Stephen Ashe A Free Soul [11]
Jackie Cooper Skippy Skinner Skippy
Richard Dix Yancey Cravat Cimarron
Fredric March Tony Cavendish The Royal Family of Broadway
Adolphe Menjou Walter Burns The Front Page
1931/32
(5th)
Wallace Beery (Tie) [D] Andy "Champ" Purcell The Champ [12]
Fredric March (Tie) [D] Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Alfred Lunt The Actor The Guardsman
1932/33
(6th)
Charles Laughton King Henry VIII The Private Life of Henry VIII [13]
Leslie Howard Peter Standish Berkeley Square
Paul Muni James Allen I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
1934
(7th)
Clark Gable Peter Warne It Happened One Night [14]
Frank Morgan Alessandro, Duke of Florence The Affairs of Cellini
William Powell Nick Charles The Thin Man
1935
(8th)
Victor McLaglen Gypo Nolan The Informer [15]
Clark Gable Lt. Fletcher Christian Mutiny on the Bounty
Charles Laughton Captain William Bligh
Franchot Tone Midshipman Roger Byam
Paul Muni (Write-in) [E] Joe Radek Black Fury
1936
(9th)
Paul Muni Louis Pasteur The Story of Louis Pasteur [16]
Gary Cooper Longfellow Deeds Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Walter Huston Sam Dodsworth Dodsworth
William Powell Godfrey Park My Man Godfrey
Spencer Tracy Father Tim Mullin San Francisco
1937
(10th)
Spencer Tracy Manuel Fidello Captains Courageous [17]
Charles Boyer Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte Conquest
Fredric March Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Robert Montgomery Danny Night Must Fall
Paul Muni Émile Zola The Life of Emile Zola
1938
(11th)
Spencer Tracy Father Edward Flanagan Boys Town [18]
Charles Boyer Pepe le Moko Algiers
James Cagney Rocky Sullivan Angels with Dirty Faces
Robert Donat Dr. Andrew Manson The Citadel
Leslie Howard Professor Henry Higgins Pygmalion
1939
(12th)
Robert Donat Charles Edward Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips [19]
Clark Gable Rhett Butler Gone with the Wind
Laurence Olivier Heathcliff Wuthering Heights
Mickey Rooney Mickey Moran Babes in Arms
James Stewart Jefferson Smith Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1940s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1940
(13th)
James Stewart Macaulay "Mike" Connor The Philadelphia Story [20]
Charlie Chaplin Adenoid Hynkel & The Barber The Great Dictator
Henry Fonda Tom Joad The Grapes of Wrath
Raymond Massey Abraham Lincoln Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Laurence Olivier Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter Rebecca
1941
(14th)
Gary Cooper Sgt. Alvin York Sergeant York [21]
Cary Grant Roger Adams Penny Serenade
Walter Huston Mr. Scratch The Devil and Daniel Webster
Robert Montgomery Joe Pendleton Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Orson Welles Charles Foster Kane Citizen Kane
1942
(15th)
James Cagney George M. Cohan Yankee Doodle Dandy [22]
Ronald Colman Charles Rainier Random Harvest
Gary Cooper Lou Gehrig The Pride of the Yankees
Walter Pidgeon Clem Miniver Mrs. Miniver
Monty Woolley Howard The Pied Piper
1943
(16th)
Paul Lukas Kurt Muller Watch on the Rhine [23]
Humphrey Bogart Rick Blaine Casablanca
Gary Cooper Robert Jordan For Whom the Bell Tolls
Walter Pidgeon Pierre Curie Madame Curie
Mickey Rooney Homer Macauley The Human Comedy
1944
(17th)
Bing Crosby Father Chuck O'Malley Going My Way [24]
Charles Boyer Gregory Anton Gaslight
Barry Fitzgerald [F] Father FitzgibbonGoing My Way
Cary Grant Ernie Mott None but the Lonely Heart
Alexander Knox Woodrow Wilson Wilson
1945
(18th)
Ray Milland Don Birnam The Lost Weekend [25]
Bing Crosby Father Chuck O'Malley The Bells of St. Mary's
Gene Kelly Joseph Brady Anchors Aweigh
Gregory Peck Father Francis The Keys of the Kingdom
Cornel Wilde Frédéric Chopin A Song to Remember
1946
(19th)
Fredric March Platoon Sergeant Al Stephenson The Best Years of Our Lives [26]
Laurence Olivier King Henry V of England Henry V
Larry Parks Al Jolson The Jolson Story
Gregory Peck Ezra "Penny" Baxter The Yearling
James Stewart George Bailey It's a Wonderful Life
1947
(20th)
Ronald Colman Anthony John A Double Life [27]
John Garfield Charlie Davis Body and Soul
Gregory Peck Philip Schuyler Green Gentleman's Agreement
William Powell Clarence Day Sr. Life with Father
Michael Redgrave Orin Mannon Mourning Becomes Electra
1948
(21st)
Laurence Olivier Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Hamlet [28]
Lew Ayres Dr. Robert Richardson Johnny Belinda
Montgomery Clift Ralph "Steve" Stevenson The Search
Dan Dailey "Skid" Johnson When My Baby Smiles at Me
Clifton Webb Lynn Aloysius Belvedere Sitting Pretty
1949
(22nd)
Broderick Crawford Willie Stark All the King's Men [29]
Kirk Douglas Michael "Midge" Kelly Champion
Gregory Peck Brig. General Frank Savage Twelve O'Clock High
Richard Todd Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan The Hasty Heart
John Wayne Sergeant John M. Stryker Sands of Iwo Jima

1950s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1950
(23rd)
José Ferrer Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac [30]
Louis Calhern Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. The Magnificent Yankee
William Holden Joe Gillis Sunset Boulevard
James Stewart Elwood P. Dowd Harvey
Spencer Tracy Stanley T. Banks Father of the Bride
1951
(24th)
Humphrey Bogart Charlie Allnut The African Queen [31]
Marlon Brando Stanley Kowalski A Streetcar Named Desire
Montgomery Clift George Eastman A Place in the Sun
Arthur Kennedy Larry Nevins Bright Victory
Fredric March Willy Loman Death of a Salesman
1952
(25th)
Gary Cooper Marshal Will Kane High Noon [32]
Marlon Brando Emiliano Zapata Viva Zapata!
Kirk Douglas Jonathan Shields The Bad and the Beautiful
José Ferrer Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec & Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec Moulin Rouge
Alec Guinness Henry Holland The Lavender Hill Mob
1953
(26th)
William Holden Sgt. J.J. Sefton Stalag 17 [33]
Marlon Brando Mark Antony Julius Caesar
Richard Burton Marcellus Gallio The Robe
Montgomery Clift Pvt. Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster 1st Sgt. Milton Warden
1954
(27th)
Marlon Brando Terry Malloy On the Waterfront [34]
Humphrey Bogart Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg The Caine Mutiny
Bing Crosby Frank Elgin The Country Girl
James Mason Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Dan O'Herlihy Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe
1955
(28th)
Ernest Borgnine Marty Piletti Marty [35]
James Cagney Martin Snyder Love Me or Leave Me
James Dean Cal Trask East of Eden
Frank Sinatra Frankie Machine The Man with the Golden Arm
Spencer Tracy John J. Macreedy Bad Day at Black Rock
1956
(29th)
Yul Brynner King Mongkut of Siam The King and I [36]
James Dean Jett Rink Giant
Kirk Douglas Vincent van Gogh Lust for Life
Rock Hudson Jordan "Bick" Benedict Jr.Giant
Laurence Olivier King Richard III Richard III
1957
(30th)
Alec Guinness Colonel Nicholson The Bridge on the River Kwai [37]
Marlon Brando Major Lloyd "Ace" Gruver, USAF Sayonara
Anthony Franciosa Polo Pope A Hatful of Rain
Charles Laughton Sir Wilfrid Robarts Witness for the Prosecution
Anthony Quinn Gino Wild Is the Wind
1958
(31st)
David Niven Major Angus Pollock Separate Tables [38]
Tony Curtis John "Joker" Jackson The Defiant Ones
Paul Newman Brick Pollitt Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sidney Poitier Noah CullenThe Defiant Ones
Spencer Tracy The Old Man The Old Man and the Sea
1959
(32nd)
Charlton Heston Judah Ben-Hur Ben-Hur [39]
Laurence Harvey Joe Lampton Room at the Top
Jack Lemmon Jerry / Daphne Some Like It Hot
Paul Muni Dr. Sam Abelman The Last Angry Man
James Stewart Paul Biegler Anatomy of a Murder

1960s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1960
(33rd)
Burt Lancaster Elmer Gantry Elmer Gantry [40]
Trevor Howard Walter Morel Sons and Lovers
Jack Lemmon C. C. "Bud" Baxter The Apartment
Laurence Olivier Archie Rice The Entertainer
Spencer Tracy Henry Drummond Inherit the Wind
1961
(34th)
Maximilian Schell Hans Rolfe Judgment at Nuremberg [41]
Charles Boyer Cesar Fanny
Paul Newman "Fast" Eddie Felson The Hustler
Spencer Tracy Chief Judge Dan HaywoodJudgment at Nuremberg
Stuart Whitman Jim Fuller The Mark
1962
(35th)
Gregory Peck Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird [42]
Burt Lancaster Robert Stroud Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon Joe Clay Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni Ferdinando Cefalù Divorce Italian Style
Peter O'Toole Thomas Edward Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia
1963
(36th)
Sidney Poitier Homer Smith Lilies of the Field [43]
Albert Finney Tom Jones Tom Jones
Richard Harris Frank Machin This Sporting Life
Rex Harrison Julius Caesar Cleopatra
Paul Newman Hud Bannon Hud
1964
(37th)
Rex Harrison Professor Henry Higgins My Fair Lady [44]
Richard Burton Thomas Becket Becket
Peter O'Toole King Henry II
Anthony Quinn Alexis Zorba Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1965
(38th)
Lee Marvin Kid Shelleen & Tim Strawn Cat Ballou [45]
Richard Burton Alec Leamas The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Laurence Olivier Othello Othello
Rod Steiger Sol Nazerman The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner Willie Schumann Ship of Fools
1966
(39th)
Paul Scofield Sir Thomas More A Man for All Seasons [46]
Alan Arkin Lt. Rozanov The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
Richard Burton George Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Michael Caine Alfie Elkins Alfie
Steve McQueen Jake Holman The Sand Pebbles
1967
(40th)
Rod Steiger Bill Gillespie In the Heat of the Night [47]
Warren Beatty Clyde Barrow Bonnie and Clyde
Dustin Hoffman Benjamin Braddock The Graduate
Paul Newman Lucas "Luke" Jackson Cool Hand Luke
Spencer Tracy Matt Drayton Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1968
(41st)
Cliff Robertson Charly Gordon Charly [48]
Alan Arkin John Singer The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates Yakov Bok The Fixer
Ron Moody Fagin Oliver!
Peter O'Toole King Henry II The Lion in Winter
1969
(42nd)
John Wayne Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit [49]
Richard Burton King Henry VIII Anne of the Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" Rizzo Midnight Cowboy
Peter O'Toole Arthur Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Jon Voight Joe BuckMidnight Cowboy

1970s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1970
(43rd)
George C. Scott § [50] General George S. Patton Jr. Patton [51]
Melvyn Douglas Tom Garrison I Never Sang for My Father
James Earl Jones Jack Jefferson The Great White Hope
Jack Nicholson Robert Eroica Dupea Five Easy Pieces
Ryan O'Neal Oliver Barrett IV Love Story
1971
(44th)
Gene Hackman Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle The French Connection [52]
Peter Finch Dr. Daniel Hirsh Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walter Matthau Joseph P. Kotcher Kotch
George C. Scott Dr. Herbert Bock The Hospital
Topol Tevye Fiddler on the Roof
1972
(45th)
Marlon Brando § [50] Vito Corleone The Godfather [53]
Michael Caine Milo Tindle Sleuth
Laurence Olivier Andrew Wyke
Peter O'Toole Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney The Ruling Class
Paul Winfield Nathan Lee Morgan Sounder
1973
(46th)
Jack Lemmon Harry Stoner Save the Tiger [54]
Marlon Brando Paul Last Tango in Paris
Jack Nicholson Signalman 1st Class Billy L. "Badass" Buddusky The Last Detail
Al Pacino Frank Serpico Serpico
Robert Redford Johnny "Kelly" Hooker The Sting
1974
(47th)
Art Carney Harry Coombes Harry and Tonto [55]
Albert Finney Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express
Dustin Hoffman Lenny Bruce Lenny
Jack Nicholson J. J. "Jake" Gittes Chinatown
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather Part II
1975
(48th)
Jack Nicholson Randle Patrick McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [56]
Walter Matthau Willy Clark The Sunshine Boys
Al Pacino Sonny Wortzik Dog Day Afternoon
Maximilian Schell Arthur Goldman The Man in the Glass Booth
James Whitmore Harry S. Truman Give 'em Hell, Harry!
1976
(49th)
Peter Finch Howard Beale Network [57]
Robert De Niro Travis Bickle Taxi Driver
Giancarlo Giannini Pasqualino Frafuso Seven Beauties
William Holden Max SchumacherNetwork
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa Rocky
1977
(50th)
Richard Dreyfuss Elliot Garfield The Goodbye Girl [58]
Woody Allen Alvy Singer Annie Hall
Richard Burton Martin Dysart Equus
Marcello Mastroianni Gabriele A Special Day
John Travolta Tony Manero Saturday Night Fever
1978
(51st)
Jon Voight Luke Martin Coming Home [59]
Warren Beatty Joe Pendleton / Leo Farnsworth / Tom Jarrett Heaven Can Wait
Gary Busey Buddy Holly The Buddy Holly Story
Robert De Niro Michael Vronsky The Deer Hunter
Laurence Olivier Ezra Lieberman The Boys from Brazil
1979
(52nd)
Dustin Hoffman Ted Kramer Kramer vs. Kramer [60]
Jack Lemmon Jack Godell The China Syndrome
Al Pacino Arthur Kirkland ...And Justice for All
Roy Scheider Joe Gideon All That Jazz
Peter Sellers Chance the gardener / Chauncey Gardiner Being There

1980s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1980
(53rd)
Robert De Niro Jake LaMotta Raging Bull [61]
Robert Duvall Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meechum The Great Santini
John Hurt John Merrick The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon Scottie Templeton Tribute
Peter O'Toole Eli Cross The Stunt Man
1981
(54th)
Henry Fonda Norman Thayer Jr. On Golden Pond [62]
Warren Beatty John "Jack" Reed Reds
Burt Lancaster Lou Pascal Atlantic City
Dudley Moore Arthur Bach Arthur
Paul Newman Michael Gallagher Absence of Malice
1982
(55th)
Ben Kingsley Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi [63]
Dustin Hoffman Michael Dorsey / Dorothy Michaels Tootsie
Jack Lemmon Edmund Horman Missing
Paul Newman Frank Galvin The Verdict
Peter O'Toole Alan Swann My Favorite Year
1983
(56th)
Robert Duvall Mac Sledge Tender Mercies [64]
Michael Caine Dr. Frank Bryant Educating Rita
Tom Conti Gowan McGland Reuben, Reuben
Tom Courtenay Norman The Dresser
Albert Finney Sir
1984
(57th)
F. Murray Abraham Antonio Salieri Amadeus [65]
Jeff Bridges Scott Hayden / Starman Starman
Albert Finney Geoffrey Firmin Under the Volcano
Tom Hulce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus
Sam Waterston Sydney Schanberg The Killing Fields
1985
(58th)
William Hurt Luis Molina Kiss of the Spider Woman [66]
Harrison Ford John Book Witness
James Garner Murphy Jones Murphy's Romance
Jack Nicholson Charley Partanna Prizzi's Honor
Jon Voight Oscar "Manny" Manheim Runaway Train
1986
(59th)
Paul Newman "Fast" Eddie Felson The Color of Money [67]
Dexter Gordon Dale Turner Round Midnight
Bob Hoskins George Mona Lisa
William Hurt James Leeds Children of a Lesser God
James Woods Richard Boyle Salvador
1987
(60th)
Michael Douglas Gordon Gekko Wall Street [68]
William Hurt Tom Grunick Broadcast News
Marcello Mastroianni Romano Patroni Dark Eyes
Jack Nicholson Francis Phelan Ironweed
Robin Williams Adrian Cronauer Good Morning, Vietnam
1988
(61st)
Dustin Hoffman Raymond Babbitt Rain Man [69]
Gene Hackman Rupert Anderson Mississippi Burning
Tom Hanks Josh Baskin Big
Edward James Olmos Jaime Escalante Stand and Deliver
Max von Sydow Lassefar "Lasse" Karlsson Pelle the Conqueror
1989
(62nd)
Daniel Day-Lewis Christy Brown My Left Foot [70]
Kenneth Branagh King Henry V Henry V
Tom Cruise Ron Kovic Born on the Fourth of July
Morgan Freeman Hoke Colburn Driving Miss Daisy
Robin Williams John Keating Dead Poets Society

1990s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1990
(63rd)
Jeremy Irons Claus von Bülow Reversal of Fortune [71]
Kevin Costner Lt. John J. Dunbar Dances with Wolves
Robert De Niro Leonard Lowe Awakenings
Gérard Depardieu Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac
Richard Harris "Bull" McCabe The Field
1991
(64th)
Anthony Hopkins Dr. Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs [72]
Warren Beatty Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Bugsy
Robert De Niro Max Cady Cape Fear
Nick Nolte Tom Wingo The Prince of Tides
Robin Williams Henry "Parry" Sagan The Fisher King
1992
(65th)
Al Pacino Lt. Col. Frank Slade Scent of a Woman [73]
Robert Downey Jr. Charlie Chaplin Chaplin
Clint Eastwood Will Munny Unforgiven
Stephen Rea Fergus The Crying Game
Denzel Washington Malcolm Little / Malcolm X Malcolm X
1993
(66th)
Tom Hanks Andrew Beckett Philadelphia [74]
Daniel Day-Lewis Gerard "Gerry" Conlon In the Name of the Father
Laurence Fishburne Ike Turner What's Love Got to Do with It
Anthony Hopkins James Stevens The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson Oskar Schindler Schindler's List
1994
(67th)
Tom Hanks Forrest Gump Forrest Gump [75]
Morgan Freeman Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding The Shawshank Redemption
Nigel Hawthorne King George III The Madness of King George
Paul Newman Donald "Sully" Sullivan Nobody's Fool
John Travolta Vincent Vega Pulp Fiction
1995
(68th)
Nicolas Cage Ben Sanderson Leaving Las Vegas [76]
Richard Dreyfuss Glenn Holland Mr. Holland's Opus
Anthony Hopkins Richard Nixon Nixon
Sean Penn Matthew Poncelet Dead Man Walking
Massimo Troisi Mario Ruoppolo Il Postino: The Postman
1996
(69th)
Geoffrey Rush David Helfgott Shine [77]
Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes Count László de Almásy The English Patient
Woody Harrelson Larry Flynt The People vs. Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton Karl Childers Sling Blade
1997
(70th)
Jack Nicholson Melvin Udall As Good as It Gets [78]
Matt Damon Will Hunting Good Will Hunting
Robert Duvall Euliss "Sonny" Dewey / The Apostle E. F. The Apostle
Peter Fonda Ulysses "Ulee" Jackson Ulee's Gold
Dustin Hoffman Stanley Motss Wag the Dog
1998
(71st)
Roberto Benigni Guido Orefice Life Is Beautiful [79]
Tom Hanks Captain John H. Miller Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen James Whale Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte Wade Whitehouse Affliction
Edward Norton Derek Vinyard American History X
1999
(72nd)
Kevin Spacey Lester Burnham American Beauty [80]
Russell Crowe Jeffrey Wigand The Insider
Richard Farnsworth Alvin Straight The Straight Story
Sean Penn Emmet Ray Sweet and Lowdown
Denzel Washington Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter The Hurricane

2000s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2000
(73rd)
Russell Crowe Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator [81]
Javier Bardem Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls
Tom Hanks Chuck Noland Cast Away
Ed Harris Jackson Pollock Pollock
Geoffrey Rush Marquis de Sade Quills
2001
(74th)
Denzel Washington Detective Alonzo Harris Training Day [82]
Russell Crowe John Forbes Nash Jr. A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn Sam Dawson I Am Sam
Will Smith Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali Ali
Tom Wilkinson Dr. Matt Fowler In the Bedroom
2002
(75th)
Adrien Brody Władysław Szpilman The Pianist [83]
Nicolas Cage Charlie Kaufman & Donald Kaufman Adaptation.
Michael Caine Thomas Fowler The Quiet American
Daniel Day-Lewis William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting Gangs of New York
Jack Nicholson Warren R. Schmidt About Schmidt
2003
(76th)
Sean Penn Jimmy Markum Mystic River [84]
Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley Col. Massoud Amir Behrani House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law W. P. Inman Cold Mountain
Bill Murray Bob Harris Lost in Translation
2004
(77th)
Jamie Foxx Ray Charles Ray [85]
Don Cheadle Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp Sir James Matthew Barrie Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio Howard Hughes The Aviator
Clint Eastwood Frankie Dunn Million Dollar Baby
2005
(78th)
Philip Seymour Hoffman Truman Capote Capote [86]
Terrence Howard DJay Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger Ennis Del Mar Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix Johnny Cash Walk the Line
David Strathairn Edward R. Murrow Good Night, and Good Luck.
2006
(79th)
Forest Whitaker Idi Amin The Last King of Scotland [87]
Leonardo DiCaprio Danny Archer Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling Dan Dunne Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole Maurice Russell Venus
Will Smith Chris Gardner The Pursuit of Happyness
2007
(80th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Daniel Plainview There Will Be Blood [88]
George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd / Benjamin Barker Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones Hank Deerfield In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen Nikolai Luzhin Eastern Promises
2008
(81st)
Sean Penn Harvey Milk Milk [89]
Richard Jenkins Walter Vale The Visitor
Frank Langella Richard Nixon Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke Randy "The Ram" Robinson The Wrestler
2009
(82nd)
Jeff Bridges Otis "Bad" Blake Crazy Heart [90]
George Clooney Ryan Bingham Up in the Air
Colin Firth George Falconer A Single Man
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela Invictus
Jeremy Renner SFC William James The Hurt Locker

2010s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2010
(83rd)
Colin Firth King George VI The King's Speech [91]
Javier Bardem Uxbal Biutiful
Jeff Bridges Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg Mark Zuckerberg The Social Network
James Franco Aron Ralston 127 Hours
2011
(84th)
Jean Dujardin George Valentin The Artist [92]
Demián Bichir Carlos Galindo A Better Life
George Clooney Matt King The Descendants
Gary Oldman George Smiley Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt Billy Beane Moneyball
2012
(85th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Abraham Lincoln Lincoln [93]
Bradley Cooper Patrizio "Pat" Solitano Jr. Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman Jean Valjean Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix Freddie Quell The Master
Denzel Washington William "Whip" Whitaker Flight
2013
(86th)
Matthew McConaughey Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club [94]
Christian Bale Irving Rosenfeld American Hustle
Bruce Dern Woodrow "Woody" Grant Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio Jordan Belfort The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave
2014
(87th)
Eddie Redmayne Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything [95]
Steve Carell John du Pont Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper Chris Kyle American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton Riggan Thomson Birdman
2015
(88th)
Leonardo DiCaprio Hugh Glass The Revenant [96]
Bryan Cranston Dalton Trumbo Trumbo
Matt Damon Mark Watney The Martian
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe The Danish Girl
2016
(89th)
Casey Affleck Lee Chandler Manchester by the Sea [97]
Andrew Garfield Desmond Doss Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling Sebastian Wilder La La Land
Viggo Mortensen Ben Cash Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington Troy Maxson Fences
2017
(90th)
Gary Oldman Winston Churchill Darkest Hour [98]
Timothée Chalamet Elio Perlman Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis Reynolds Woodcock Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya Chris Washington Get Out
Denzel Washington Roman J. Israel Roman J. Israel, Esq.
2018
(91st)
Rami Malek Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody [99]
Christian Bale Dick Cheney Vice
Bradley Cooper Jackson Maine A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe Vincent van Gogh At Eternity's Gate
Viggo Mortensen Anthony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga Green Book
2019
(92nd)
Joaquin Phoenix Arthur Fleck / Joker Joker [100]
Antonio Banderas Salvador Mallo Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio Rick Dalton Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver Charlie Barber Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio The Two Popes

2020s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2020/21
[101]
(93rd)
Anthony Hopkins Anthony The Father [102]
Riz Ahmed Ruben Stone Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman Levee Green Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Gary Oldman Herman J. Mankiewicz Mank
Steven Yeun Jacob Yi Minari
2021
(94th)
Will Smith Richard Williams King Richard [103]
Javier Bardem Desi Arnaz Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch Phil Burbank The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield Jonathan Larson Tick, Tick... Boom!
Denzel Washington Lord Macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth
2022
(95th)
Brendan Fraser Charlie The Whale [104]
Austin Butler Elvis Presley Elvis
Colin Farrell Pádraic Súilleabháin The Banshees of Inisherin
Paul Mescal Calum Paterson Aftersun
Bill Nighy Rodney Williams Living
2023
(96th)
Cillian Murphy J. Robert Oppenheimer Oppenheimer [105]
Bradley Cooper Leonard Bernstein Maestro
Colman Domingo Bayard Rustin Rustin
Paul Giamatti Paul Hunham The Holdovers
Jeffrey Wright Thelonious "Monk" Ellison American Fiction

Multiple awards and nominations

The following individuals received two or more Best Actor awards:

WinsActorNominations
3 Daniel Day-Lewis 6
2 Spencer Tracy 9
Jack Nicholson 8
Marlon Brando 7
Dustin Hoffman
Gary Cooper 5
Tom Hanks
Fredric March
Sean Penn
Anthony Hopkins 4

The following individuals received three or more Best Actor nominations:

NominationsActor
9 Laurence Olivier
Spencer Tracy
8 Paul Newman
Jack Nicholson
Peter O'Toole
7 Marlon Brando
Dustin Hoffman
Jack Lemmon
Denzel Washington
6 Richard Burton
Daniel Day-Lewis
5 Gary Cooper
Robert De Niro
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks
Fredric March
Paul Muni
Al Pacino
Gregory Peck
Sean Penn
James Stewart
4 Warren Beatty
Charles Boyer
Michael Caine
Bradley Cooper
Albert Finney
Anthony Hopkins
Burt Lancaster
3 Javier Bardem
Humphrey Bogart
Jeff Bridges
James Cagney
Montgomery Clift
George Clooney
Ronald Colman
Bing Crosby
Russell Crowe
Johnny Depp
Kirk Douglas
Robert Duvall
Morgan Freeman
Clark Gable
William Holden
William Hurt
Charles Laughton
Marcello Mastroianni
Viggo Mortensen
Gary Oldman
Joaquin Phoenix
William Powell
Will Smith
Jon Voight
Robin Williams

Age superlatives

RecordActorFilmYearAgeRef.
Oldest Winner Anthony Hopkins The Father 202083 [106]
Oldest Nominee
Youngest Winner Adrien Brody The Pianist 200229
Youngest Nominee Jackie Cooper Skippy 19319

Films with multiple Leading Actor nominations

Winners are in bold.

Multiple character nominations

The following were nominated for their portrayals of the same fictional or non-fictional character in separate films (including variations of the original).

Winners are in bold.

See also

Notes

A ^ : According to longstanding Hollywood legend, [107] reported by Susan Orlean, [108] Rin Tin Tin actually received the most Best Actor votes, but the Academy (not wishing to give the first award to a dog) refactored the votes to ensure that Jannings won. [109]
B ^ : The Circus originally received three nominations: Best Director (Comedy Picture), Best Actor, and Best Writing (Original Story) – for Charles Chaplin. However, the Academy subsequently decided to remove Chaplin's name from the competitive award categories and instead to confer upon him a Special Award "for acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus". [8]
C 1 2 3 : Rules at the time of the first three ceremonies allowed for a performer to receive a single nomination which could honor their work in more than one film. George Arliss, Maurice Chevalier, and Ronald Colman were all nominated for two different roles in the same category. Current Academy rules forbid this from happening. No official reason was ever given as to why Arliss won the award for only one of the two films he was listed for. [110]
D 1 2 : Fredric March received one more vote than Wallace Beery. Academy rules at that time considered such a close margin to be a tie, so both March and Beery received the award. Under the current rules, it is stipulated that a tie must result in the exact same number of votes. [111]
E ^ : As with the previous year, when the Academy relaxed the rules to allow write-in votes following the outcry over Bette Davis's snub for Of Human Bondage , the Academy permitted write-in votes this year as well. Thus, Paul Muni received a write-in nomination for his performance in Black Fury , and actually finished second in the votes. Although as with Davis the previous year, the Academy does not recognize these two as "official nominees", they are nevertheless listed on the official website amongst their respective years' nominations for posterity's sake. [112]
F ^ : Due to category confusion, Barry Fitzgerald received nominations (each for the same performance as Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way ) in both the leading and supporting actor categories for 1944, winning the Oscar for the latter. As a result of this fiasco, the Academy amended its rules so that if any actor or actress received enough votes to land in the final five nominees for both again, they would only receive the nomination for the category in which they obtained the largest percentage of recognition. [113]
  1. The 2nd Academy Awards is unique in being the only occasion where there were no official nominees. Subsequent research by AMPAS has resulted in a list of unofficial or de facto nominees, based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges.

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